Recently I have been working flat out doing the Press and PR for the Newbury Spring Festival. I want to say it is a small festival outside London but actually it isn't so small as there were 50 concerts over a two week period. With a wide selection of artists from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to Anoushka Shankar, there wasn't a dull moment. John Wilson conducted the CBSO in the opening concert with a wonderful programme of Elgar and Vaughan Williams, so it seems fitting to mention a new recording by the John Wilson Orchestra called Gershwin in Hollywood. If you love the Great American Songbook, then you are going to love this.
John Wilson is a charismatic figure on the concert stage who as well as performing the classical repertoire, is an expert in light music, jazz and music for the screen. As such he is widely recognised as an audience builder. In 1994 he formed the John Wilson Orchestra, a unique collection of musicians who specialise in recording contemporary film soundtracks as well as giving performances of classic film scores. Since 2009 the orchestra under the baton of John Wilson have become a regular feature at the BBC Proms and this year is no different as he and the orchestra will give a concert of Gershwin favourites on 13th August in the Royal Albert Hall.
As Edward Seckerson says in his review "I don't think there is any such thing as a bad Gershwin song" Here is John Wilson telling you about the recording himself on YouTube. The recording is full of Gershwin classics such as Funny Face, Oh Lady be Good and S Wonderful.
George Gershwin was born in 1898 and died tragically young in 1937 of a brain tumour. He and his lyricist brother Ira will always be remembered as the song writing team who were synonymous with the sounds and style of the Jazz Age. Many singers have recorded their songs over the years: here is Amy Winehouse doing Someone to Watch Over Me, Shirley Bassey S Wonderful and Fred Astaire singing to Audrey Heburn Let's Kiss and Make Up